Tag Archives: politics

Slave Labour or enthusing a generation

The Government has today announced a new breed of its benefit reorganisation strategy and guess what its stupid. The idea is to require 18-24 year olds who claim jobseekers to WORK 30 hours a week or be denied their benefit.

How  the Government thinks having young people doing work for companies for free is going to stimulate the jobs market I don’t know. If you’re running a business say Tesco, Sainsbury’s, or any other retail based business, are you going to hire a someone to work for you when it requires you to pay NI and these strange things called wages. No if you can get away with, and lets face it most businesses can, you’re going to have an endless rotation of young people doing the jobs you used to have to employ people to do.

The old workfare scheme where young people were asked to take work placements without the risk of losing their benefit was deemed legal, but only due to the fact you were not forced to partake in work experience. However it can not be seen as reasonable or even economically sound to require someone to work for what would be the equivalent of around £1.76/hr.

The benefit system is there to protect people, who are trying their best to be active in society, from destitution and ruin. I agree that you shouldn’t receive anything for nothing. Which is why when you claim JSA you have to keep a diary, you are held to account and you have to be active in seeking employment, that’s fair. I agree that if you turn down employment within a reasonable distance of your current home you should be penalised.

But punishing someone because those who have come before have so screwed over the countries economy that they have no prospect of work is no reason to institute a program which does nothing to help people gain employment and everything to maximise corporate profits and executive payouts.

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Is a Christian Britain a Good Thing?

This Friday PM Cameron decided, to induce a collective head to desk salute from the atheists of Britain.

By calling for the strengthening of christian values in Britain the day after Christopher Hitchens death he ensured the unified despair in Britain of those who believe in a secular government and path to a humanist moral code.

By declaring Britain a christian country he has aligned himself with one of the fastest shrinking demographics in Britain.

Amazingly he also had the ruddy-faced cheek to level a call to arms at the Arch Bishop of Canterbury Sir Rowan Atkinson. who has spoken many times of christian values, but against the governments regressive cuts program and lack of ethical progress.

It seems that with the teachings of christianity as delivered by Jesus, that the government is the ones who need reminding of christian values. I wonder if in preparation for the 400 year celebrations of the King James bible they have supposedly read, that the Tory members of the cabinet who claim so adamantly their christian values, whilst playing puppet to the city, the tale of the money lenders whom christ evicted from the church. The destruction and privatisation of the NHS against the countless stories of Jesus as a free healer for those in need.

Why when Jesus was a man of the people is it the party of business that often so closely and so misguidedly sides with a religion, which does not speak for them.

Why is it so often the party which fights for business, that also tries to declare values from a religion, of which the main prophet, has fought against much of what they believe.

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1st Amendment, right or priviledge?

Americans are very proud of their 1st amendment. I would be too. However there seems an unavoidable gulf in its application. The patriot act which gives and exception to its use in almost any circumstance and the lack of respect by corporate news for factual NEWS reporting.

I fully admit I favour a socialised capitalist state, where private companies are allowed to operate with the minimum of laws ensuring a fair and ethical trading environment. So yes i back the Occupy movement.

However I also passionately believe in the necessity of a free press. A press which as long as they are not obstructing the police, are free to move, free to question and free to report on the actions of all members of society.

When like in the clearing of Zuccotti Park, the police [NYPD] blatantly obstruct the operations and free movement of the press, whilst carrying out such a controversial clearing on behalf of business, the very fabric of the ideals of democracy are called into question.

Four Journalists were reported as being detained on 15th November:

  • Julie Walker[NPR], Arrested in the early hours despite wearing NYPD issued Press ID.
  • Matthew Lysiak[NYDN], Arrested near Trinity Wall Street Church at 12:15[Eastern]
  • Karen Matthews and Seth Wenig[AP] Also at Trinity Wall Street Church, Near Duarte Sq.

The reports of photographers having lenses smashed with batons and press exclusion is truly frightening. More so are videos of journalists declaring who they are and showing press credentials, yet still being arrested.

It all makes one wonder how the USA and NY in particular can claim to be a free liberal societal democracy, rather than a business ruled police state.

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Celebration, Justice, or Just Macabre

When the press reported the extrajudicial killing of Osama Bin Laden in February, they were restricted to stock images and archive footage, in their reporting.
Fleet street were left to indulge their sense of humour and ego’s with their headlines rather than use of images. The Sun in their usual crass and low wit form used “Bin Bagged”. In New York the Post went with “GOT HIM!” and the Guardian, as is usual asked a question, “But how could he hide for so long?”

bin-laden-front-pages

When reporting the death or capture of a wanted person the British tabloids are renowned for showing little mercy in the destruction of any possible good memory of the person by their family. or any defense that may have been put in a court of law had they been put to trial in a civilized manner for their ‘crimes’.

When given the chance however the Press will gladly splash their front pages with gore and gloating.

Gathafi

When Gathafi was killed, in what his supporters will attempt to claim was either a blaze of glory as he went out in battle.

Sun
Or as some rebels claim cowering on his knees after being beaten into submission and executed. The papers went on a feeding frenzy, covering their papers in blood, humiliation and bravado. The Sun, ever solemn in its reporting⸘, splashed with “That’s For Lockerbie” seeming to claim responsibility for the event, as the Sun is all powerful and nothing happens without its knowledge or say so⸘

New York Post

The New York Post another from the News Int stable, claimed an American link with its claim of “Khadafy Killed By Yankee Fan” 

Most obvious in the coverage is the free use of death images. Many of the papers used images which were of Gathafi still alive but visibly beaten and very close to death. The major exception to this in the UK is of The Mirror, who printed an image of the despot dead on a mattress.

The Sun’s photographer sent to get images for the follow up stories, spoke of his thoughts about capturing images of himself and Gathafi in a blog post on his site, at the end he asks “I keep thinking I should have had my picture taken with the Colonel himself, but would that have been wrong?” Why would it be wrong to have an image of himself smiling net to the dead dictator but not wrong for the paper to gloat over his death on the front pages?

Mirror

Is it really justified, in the name of showing justice to be done, to display the macabre and brutal end of a man in a judgement against his actions without trial. Why in the act of murder when the act is done from our side, in the name of justice we have no qualms about publishing the gruesome result, about glorifying vengeance, whilst defaming the others for attempting to do the same. The media particularly the red top/tabloid press, engage in extreme hypocrisy on a nearly daily basis. But none more so when it comes to the reporting of war.

Samuel Johnson has had the popular presses number for some time: “Among the calamities of war may be jointly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages.” (The Idler, 1758)

“In war, truth is the first casualty,” attributed to Aeschylus (525BC – 456BC).

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